Hailing from Sangli district in Maharashtra, Suresh Kabade has grown 100 tonnes of sugarcane to fulfil his father’s dream.
Suresh’s father, Appaso Kabade, owned 30 acres of ancestral land. There was a local sugar mill which offered a good price for sugarcane. Thus, Appaso decided to begin sugarcane farming, and grew around 25-30 tonnes of sugarcane in one acre of land. Appaso's dream was to grow 100 tonnes of sugarcane one day.
Years later, his son Suresh fulfilled his father’s dream by growing 100 tonnes of sugarcane. What's surprising is that each sugarcane is more than 20 feet long and weighs four kilograms. Suresh raked in a profit of Rs 40 lakh from his first harvest, and was also honoured with awards. He credits his fellow workers and wife tremendously for this success.
Once he realised that he needed to get into agriculture, Suresh started farming when was just in Class IX. When he broke this news to his family, everyone was disappointed as all his siblings were well-educated. However, his family eventually understood and came to terms with his choice of career.
Fortunately, the local Rajaram Bapu Sugar Factory invited Aabasaheb Salunkhe, a professor from Vasant Dada Sugar Institute, Pune, to provide free training to the farmers. Suresh says that Aabasaheb visited each farmer and provided solutions to the problems being faced by the farmers.
The professor also advised them on the use of fertilisers to maximise sugarcane’s growth. Suresh says that it was the professor who made them realise the importance of understanding fertilisers. Before this training, the farmers were not even aware of the nitrogen content in NPK and potash content in DPA. He says that the solutions helped him maximise his profits by 70 percent.
The seeds grown by Suresh, and his techniques and methodologies are quite popular in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. He is associated with the Facebook page ‘Sugarcane growers of India’, and has a WhatsApp group to extend help to farmers. He also has a YouTube channel named ‘Hoye Amhi Shetkari (HAS)’.
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